Can you prove your identity?
In his new sci-fi thriller, Change Agent, author Daniel Suarez describes a future where parents can genetically edit their embryos on the black market.
When the novel commences, this illegal genetic manipulation can only be done to one fertilized egg, or so everyone thought. But after being injected with a mystery serum, Kenneth Durand, a senior Interpol investigator, wakes up from a five-week coma to discover he’s been completely transformed – his race, his voice, his body, his DNA are someone else’s. His adult genes have been edited “in-vivo” by the very genetic crime cartel he’s been trying to bring down.
No DNA test, biometric scan or official government document can be used to prove Durand’s real identity. So he sets off to find someone who can edit him back…
Thankfully, what Suarez conceives is a form of identity theft that only a good sci-fi thriller can manufacture.
In the meantime – back here in the present day – approximately 18 million people fall victim to a more familiar form of identity theft each year: Our payment card information is stolen off websites, our personal information is breached on government and private sector servers, and fraudsters are using stolen and synthetic IDs to carry out their malicious plans.
Prevention and Recovery
Every issuer has its own established protocol to handle customer reports of identity theft and card fraud. There are procedures for your customers to follow – like contacting credit bureaus, the police, and the FTC – and a lot of good advice on how to keep accounts safe going forward.
As a financial institution, it’s also recommended you examine your own identity screening operational processes and procedures to identify places for improvement.
But what additional role can you play for your customers as they try to reclaim their identity and regain financial stability?
Instinctively, fraud victims will want to avoid electronic payments and digital channels at first. They might prefer to conduct transactions face-to-face in the branch and quit using their debit cards for a while.
However understandable, disconnecting from the world of digital payments and digital banking in today’s day and age will quickly become a big inconvenience. At the end of the day, they’ll want to pay for groceries with a debit card and then use that very same card to pay bills online.
As their issuer, you can go the extra mile to help them reestablish confidence and trust in digital payments without going on a digital-detox.
Special Services for Fraud Victims
A rich portfolio of services tailored to fraud victims can help reestablish their trust in banking and payments, and specifically their trust in your financial institution.
Here are three things you can do to give fraud victims a stronger sense of security:
- Issue EMV debit cards to prevent in-store fraud. EMV cards are phenomenally good at doing what they were designed to do: preventing in store fraud. EMV cards cannot be counterfeited and used for in-store transactions. To avoid becoming fraudsters targets as the rest of the market strengthens payment security with EMV, we would strongly recommend reissuing all your debit cards as EMV chip cards, but especially for fraud victims.
- Issue DCV cards for extra online shopping protection. Standard EMV cards are excellent at preventing in-store fraud, as stated above. But if the EMV card information is stolen, it still can be used effectively to make fraudulent transactions online or over the phone. To reduce such CNP (Card-not-present) fraud, we recommend issuing fraud victims DCV cards. These special cards have an ePaper display that refreshes the 3-digit security code every 20 minutes, rendering stolen card information useless for online shopping.
- Introduce identity verification software. It’s virtually impossible for a branch employee to confidently verify the authenticity of an ID document when there are over 1,000 driver’s licenses and IDs issued by the states and US federal government. Keeping track of each ID’s security features in order to spot a fake is extremely difficult. Why not take that onus off employees and let specialized software verify ID document authenticity? Upping your document verification game will show your customers you take their account security seriously and that you are closing loopholes that could be exploited by fraudsters.
In summary, fraud and identity theft victims can benefit from curated services that help them regain their financial stability and confidence in their digital dealings, and being by their side during that process will surely help strengthen your relationship.